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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Simply Metal - tumbled !

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing a little pile of shiney silver stuff (mainly earrings) made amongst the recent Collections. My little story today is about my tumbler machine. I've had my basic tumbler for quite a few years, initially bought for tumbling my polymer clay beads. A few weeks ago, to improve my system, I bought something called Barrelbrite.Barrelbrite is a burnishing powder, used with steel/stainless steel shot in a barrel tumbling machine to deburr or prepolish precious & base metals. I was convinced this would enhance my final silver jewellery pieces. 
Disaster ! - at the end of several hours tumbling, I found a thick, black sludge in my tumbler with all the jewellery pieces coated with sludge and very dirty. I couldn't decide what was causing the problem ? After lots of different combinations of cleaning the barrel, cleaning the shot and using soap instead of Barrelbrite; I decided my problems must be the actual barrel material reacting with the Barrelbrite. I've continued using the tumbler with soap (instead of Barrelbrite)  and all was well. However, I eventually decided that I should buy a new barrel designed specifically for metal. The new barrel arrived yesterday and I was optimistic  ! This time the new barrel would not turn on the tumbler. Again, lots of fiddling - changing combinations of loading the barrel etc. I eventually abandoned the new system, tumbled the silver pieces and at the end of the session, tried my new barrel again. Success ! - I've no explanation of why it didn't happen at first but I've moved on and all is well. The only issue now - what about the Barrelbrite ? I will find out next time.
In the meantime, here is my lovely shiney earring components, developed with my old system  :


Thanks for reading.